Investments Would Bond Greek-Americans to the Old Country

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Expatriate Greeks and Greek-Americans are being asked to use their savings to help their fiscally-challenged motherland.

According to news reports, the Greek government filed papers on Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell so-called "diaspora bonds."

"The ceiling for the program is $3.0 billion and we are awaiting approval," Petros Christodoulou, a Greek government official, told Reuters.

Vasilis Gatzonis owns Akropolis Meat Market, a butcher shop on 30th Avenue in Astoria. He said he'll look into buying bonds, and he's not worried the government in Athens will renege on the deal.

"I would buy Greek bonds better than the American because I have faith. I invest here in the stock market and I lose every dime I invest in the American stock exchange," Gatzonis said.

Gatzonis was born in Athens and came to the U.S. at age 16.

There is no official count of the Greek American population in and around New York, but one group estimates the number at 600,000 to 700,000.